Like most beach-going, summer infatuated teenagers, I was not looking forward to the end of my warm-weather bliss. Nor was I ecstatic over the beginning of classes. Yet consistently through the summer I waited impatiently for September to begin.
September 2, 1996 “The Cranberries” world tour finally reached Great Woods in Mansfield, Massachusetts. No other night or concert of summer ’96 could compare to that unbelievable entertainment experience.
Cracker kicked off the evening in the right direction with some excellent music. The crowd immediately responded to the band’s enthusiasm and powerfully energetic tunes with its own vitality.
The Cranberries opened up their night at Great Woods with “Forever Yellow Skies” off their most recent album, “To the Faithful Departed.” The night was loaded with all of the best songs this group has produced. Not one of their three albums was neglected. They covered everything possible in the given time.
Dolores O’Riordan captivated the audience’s attention with her uniquely exquisite, beautiful voice.
In addition to being a talented singer, guitar player, and pianist, she has some genuinely original, funky dance moves that she was not afraid to share with the world. Despite a knee brace from a recent injury, she kept the crowd on its feet and actively involved in the night’s festivities. She spread her energy and vibrancy to the crowd. The band did a wonderful job of keeping the entertainment level at its highest all evening.
Like all other good things that eventually come to an end, this night did also. The band left the stage for awhile and left the crowd curious and anxious for more. After a short wait they returned for their encore performance. Great Woods in its entirety rocked to the sweet sounds of “Dreams,” one of the best songs ever written. It was the perfect ending to a perfect evening.
The night that I had wished away my summer for remains the best I’ve ever had. As I sit in school these days, I remain in suspense awaiting next year’s visit from one of the best bands around. Their concerts are unlike any I have been to (and I have seen quite a few). They form a relaxed setting that allows people to be themselves. If you ever go to a Cranberries concert, you should expect to be surrounded by an extensive variety of people who share one common purpose … to jam